Author Archives: laniwendtyoung

My Heavenly Mother

If there’s one thing that stands out for me in the newly released essay on Heavenly Mother – is how little we know of Her. Officially. Doctrinally. And as I reflect on my lifetime in this church, I see how that not knowing has often translated into us just ‘not talking about Her’ and even, not thinking about Her. I’ve heard the reasons offered as to why of course. The conjecture. Including, ‘God wants to keep His wife protected from us…so Her name is not defiled…’ I remember hearing that in a Sunday School class once and being indignant enough about it that I spoke up – I disagree. My Heavenly Mother doesn’t need protecting or sheltering. She’s a GODDESS with powers equal to those of her husband. She could wipe us all out with a mere flick of her fingers. I’m not sure the class appreciated my contribution!

Today’s essay got me thinking about Heavenly Mother. Who and what she is to me.  She’s different things to me at different times.

'Nafanua' - as imagined by photographer Jordan Kwan, model Faimasenu'u Zita Martel.

‘Nafanua’ – as imagined by photographer Jordan Kwan, model Faimasenu’u Zita Martel.

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Talking is Terror

I had to give a talk in church yesterday. You’d think that because I give lots of speeches in lots of places, that therefore it must be old news for me now. A walk in the park, a meander on a beach… Ha. Continue reading

‘Children are a heritage of the Lord.’

Content Warning – sexual abuse, discussion of HOW to prevent abuse esp within a Samoan/Pasifika context.

When I was twenty, I told my husband Darren, something I’d never told anybody else. I told him that when I was little, somebody over time, had done bad things to me. Then they threatened me. They said, ‘don’t tell anyone or you’ll be in big trouble.

I was scared, sore and ashamed. I was seven. I believed him. Continue reading

The Stories We Tell Of Women: Warriors and Freedom Fighters

As a Pasifika writer from Samoa, I am interested in the stories we tell about women, the stories that shape us and help define how we view women and how we value them. As a mother, I am interested in how those stories – of my ancestors, of my cultural past and present, of my lived experiences – can help me raise my daughters and sons. Continue reading

Rejoice in the Diversity of our Sisterhood: A Samoan Mormon Feminist Voice on #OrdainWomen

This blogpost was originally posted on the Young Mormon Feminist blog, April 19th 2014. The author, Lani Wendt Young is a Samoan/NZ Maori writer, blogger and author of eight books. Continue reading